Chocolate in Slovenia

Chocolate in Slovenia has a rich and long tradition. Its story reaches back to the as far back as the year 1921 when the Trappist monastery ran its two chocolate-making machines for the first time. Get to know the history of chocolate in Slovenia by looking at the timeline below...

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Beginnings of chocolate-making in Slovenia

The history of chocolate-making in Slovenia started on the 3rd February, 1896 when the Trappist monastery Brestanica ran their two chocolate-making machines for the first time. The monks produced chocolate of exceptional quality and in 1912 they were bestowed the honorary title Imperial with the lion symbol by the Emperor Franz Joseph. The factory employed more than 30 people who annually produced up to 40 tonnes of chocolate.

Even kings have a sweet tooth for chocolate

In 1922 two chocolate factories started running on the territory of Slovenia. One was in Lesce where Gorenjka’s headquarters are today; the other was Mirim in Maribor. Having been running for almost 20 years the factory in Lesce already produced up to 50 tonnes of chocolate annually. That is the volume of chocolate Gorenjka currently produces in 10 days. The heart of the brand of the chocolate factory in the Gorenjska region was depicted by the image of Bled, the then prestigious European resort. Members of the Karađorđević royal family liked to quench their cravings for sweets at the Lesce store while spending their holidays in Bled.

Gorenjka starts to export chocolate

After the 2nd World War the Lesce factory was nationalised and renamed the Gorenjska chocolate factory. Following the difficult post-war years the new development cycle started for the factory in the mid 50s and in 1958 it obtained the name GORENJKA, chocolate factory Lesce. In 1953 Gorenjka started to export chocolate for the first time in its post-war history. They exported 2000 kg of milk chocolate to London.

Beginning of Triglav pastry production

In 1964 Gorenjka joined the Candy and Pastry Factory Šumi. Despite the merger the Gorenjka brand remained and kept the image of Bled and carnations at its core. In the second half of the 1960s they began to modernise the Gorenjka manufacturing and in 1969 Gorenjka became a part of Žito. In 1968 they were the first in the then Yugoslavia to implement industrial pastry and biscuit dough baking techniques under the Triglav Pastry brand. This is considered the birth of the popular Gorenjka mini rolls and snack bars.

Gorenjka expansion

In the beginning of 1970s the modernisation of manufacturing lines continued and Lesce became the centre of the Slovenian chocolate manufacturing. Due to general lack of basic raw materials – cocoa – Gorenjka started to produce the so-called “chocless” bars that used carob powder instead of cocoa. The shortage stimulated development and search for new opportunities and Gorenjka soon also expanded its activities into production of biscuits, drinks and chocolates with added flavourings. This gave birth to rice, corn flake and arancini chocolates.

Miki Muster creates a pleasant Gorenjka doll

In 1985 the Gorenjka chocolate factory relocated from its former location. During this period Gorenjka considerably expanded its product range. They developed new types of pastry, powdered chocolate and filled chocolates with various flavours: strawberry, cocktail, apricot, blackberry and hazelnuts. The legendary whole hazelnuts chocolate stays at the heart of Gorenjka product range. During this period Miki Muster modernised the previous illustration of Gorenjka doll wearing a coif and established it as the central communication element of the Gorenjka trademark.

Gorenjka gets its recognisable red image

On its 75th anniversary Gorenjka changed and showed its new, finer and nowadays recognisable red image. Its old logo was replaced by a new, thinner line and the Gorenjka doll was removed from the packaging. With the breakup of Yugoslavia Gorenjka like other Slovenian trademarks lost an important market. It sought opportunities in other markets with the new rice chocolates , in particular in Russia. The chocolate product range was supplemented with new and modern flavours: cappuccino, rum and skimmed milk for children.

Gorenjka the first on the market to offer precious dark chocolate

In 2006 Gorenjka went through another visual identity modernisation – greater emphasis was put on presenting various flavours. Gorenjka was the first on the market to offer precious dark chocolate at the end of millennium noticing the need for dark chocolates with greater cocoa content. It soon became a hit. Seven years later, in 2007, Gorenjka introduced a new brand of precious dark chocolates, Mistica.

Gorenjka has been full of good things for 90 years

After ninety years of quality pampering Gorenjka is proud to announce that it is “full of good things”. The product range is still being developed and modernised. In 2011, Gorenjka puts a new product family on the market called Choco Poco which is aimed at the youngest. The packaging was modernised and unified. Once again the Gorenjka doll with coif greets us from chocolates and pastry packaging. In the year full of good things Gorenjka surprises us with its so-called “sweet messages factory”. It is a special engraving machine using which you can engrave a personalised message into Gorenjka chocolate.

Gorenjka’s girl is given a central role

The legendary girl in national costume that was created by Miki Muster in a black and white version has always been the hallmark of quality chocolate from the heart of Gorenjska. Now, she has been updated and given the central role on the newly-revised packaging as the sign of tradition and quality.